VIOLA-TING AMERICA - Chasing the dream of music and motos Hello inmates! I’d like to formally introduce myself to the Asylum: I’ll be “viola-tor“ to YFFs. I’ve been lurking for a while, moderately active for a time, and this is my first ride report. It’s gonna be a doozy, one of those long journals I hope, though I can’t claim that mine will be as entertaining or as good of a read as some of the round-the-world riders’ reports, we just have to see how the adventure pans out, eh? I’d be really pleased if as many chicks are featured in my reports as there are in the Viking’s, but statistically I’m not sure that’s even possible! I’m taking some turns (literally and figuratively) in my life that could bring everything together in a sublime way, or it could turn out the other way, the dark way, but I don’t think so. It’s just crazy enough to work! I keep thinking there will be defining moment to start the report, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, since the wheels are already in motion (pun intended). There’s no sense in putting it off any longer, that would just mean more reflecting and catching up on what’s happening at an already fast pace. Here’s the pitch: A talented but struggling musical artist defies tradition and combines his passion for motorcycle travel with the art of classical music to chase his dreams across the country (and beyond?). I know, I know, it probably doesn’t sound so grand to the ADVRIDER community here, but in the realm of classical music this is pretty crazy talk! I have a very real chance of combining my quest for a major symphony orchestra position with adventure motorcycling into a whole lifestyle, and THAT to me is very exciting indeed! “Outside?!? What if there’s a spider? OMG!” “Ride a motorcycle? What if it rains? OMG!” Over the course this ride report I also hope to bring a little culture to YFFs. I know a lot of the motorcycle community isn’t into classical music, and anything I can do to bring more fans to this great genre one inmate at a time can only help the cause. I’m exploring the idea of a parallel report geared more towards non-riders and musicians which will expose them to the trials and tribulations of the motorcyclist, for many of THOSE lofty artists are ignorant of the dark arts of adventure motorcycling. I’m working on some blog webspace for the non-FF’s civilians. In case you hadn’t guessed from my name, I play the viola (get it? Viola, Violator, VIOLA-TOR!!!). For you ignorant FF’s it’s like a violin in appearance and is played up on the shoulder, but it’s considerably bigger and sounds a fifth lower than a violin. It’s pronounced VEE-OH-LA, which doesn’t really make sense when you think about it, but that’s the way it is. Violas typically have a more mellow sound, darker tone, and have a rich resonance that fills the role between the more well known cellos and the violins in the orchestra and in string quartets (which have two violins, a viola, and cello). Violas and violists are also the butt of many musical jokes, more so than probably any other instrument, kinda like blond jokes! It’s part of the tradition and all in good fun. Q: What’s the difference between a viola and a chain-saw? A: You can tune a chain-saw. Q: How do you know when there’s a violist at your door? A: You know because they can’t find the key and don’t know when to come in. Q: What’s the difference between a violin and a viola? A: The viola is bigger, so it holds more beer! (Alternative answer: It burns longer.) There are hundreds if not thousands of these jokes... All the rest of the details and back-story should become clear in the first few posts. Some of the motorcycle related subjects will seem redundant or self explanatory, but I hope that there will be non-riders reading my reports too. Likewise some of the musical content will be elementary for a musician, but I’ll try to make this educational and entertaining for everyone. I’d say I play music very well (pro for 10 yrs), I’m an experienced rider (fast approaching 100,000 mi), a decent writer, a decent photographer, and my video skills are growing too, so put it all together and it should be a good ride! Whatcha think? Highlights of what’s to come: THRILLS! TRILLS!!! SPILLS!!! CHILLS!!!